Where Cargo Ships Go To Die

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Image: artificialowl

Not water waves but sand waves – shipwrecks in the once coastal town of Myunak

Deserts are not the places one would associate with shipwrecks. But ghostly remains of once proud schooners, cruise ships or freighters smack in the middle of a desert are not as rare as one might think. Deserts and accompanying dust storms steering unsuspecting ships off course are often the culprits but also advancing deserts and sadly, increasing desertification worldwide. Here’s a look at five places that can boast of some quite bizarre shipwrecks.


Image: Patrick Giraud

Ships seem to turn into whale bones on the Skeleton Coast.

Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, named for the huge whale skeletons and ghostly shipwrecks found on its shores, is one of the earth’s most inhospitable and least visited places. Travelling sand dunes rule the area and make travelling on land hardly advisable.

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Image: Patrick Giraud

Even big ships can’t help fall under the Skeleton Coast’s spell.

Even vehicles with four-wheel drive will not go far for fear of getting stuck in the soft sand, their passengers at risk of running out of drinking water before help arrives. Namibian tribes shun the region that they call “the Land God Made in Anger” and Portuguese sailors once referred to as the “Gates of Hell”. Charming!

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